Clyde Edwards-Helaire has been listed as questionable for the AFC Championship game on Sunday. Along with some other notable members of the Kansas City offense, the rookie running back was limited in practice all this week.
On Friday’s final injury report, Edwards-Helaire, Sammy Watkins and Le’Veon Bell were all placed on the questionable list. Cornerbacks Bashaud Breeland and Rashad Fenton also earned this designation.
Willie Gay is out for Sunday's game.
Bashaud Breeland, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Rashad Fenton, Sammy Watkins, and Le'Veon Bell are questionable.https://t.co/refMaIUM6R
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) January 22, 2021
After suffering knee and hip injuries in Week 15, Edwards-Helaire has missed the Chiefs’ last three games. In his absence, backup RB Darrel Williams has taken the brunt of the rushing load. If Edwards-Helaire and Bell are unable to make a return this weekend, the Kansas City running game would be limited almost exclusively to Williams.
A healthy return for the rookie running back on Sunday would be a massive boost to a banged-up Chiefs offense. In Week 6, Edwards-Helaire had arguable the best game of his young NFL career against the Bills — rushing for 161 yards on 26 carries.
If he does play against Buffalo in the conference championship this weekend, it certainly won’t be with this many carries. But, the former LSU Tiger clearly has the ability to put up big numbers against the Bills defense.
Luckily for Kansas City, the run game is already slated to get a boost whether Edwards-Helaire returns or not. According to reports earlier today, dual-threat QB and Chiefs’ second leading rusher, Patrick Mahomes, has cleared concussion protocols and will play on Sunday.
While Mahomes is indeed returning, it’s fair to say Kansas City won’t be drawing up many more designed quarterback runs after the nature of last week’s injury. With that said, the return of Edwards-Helaire is crucial in maintaining a strong run-pass balance.
The Chiefs will face off against the Bills in the AFC Championship game on Sunday at 6:40 p.m. E.T.